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 • Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
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 • South Cambridgeshire District
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GM3C Byron Robert Hess
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Birth: 1917
Michigan, USA
Death: Dec. 2, 1942, At Sea

Parents: Thane Edwin Hess and Margie Parks Hess Grant

Entered the service from Michigan
Gunner's Mate 3rd Class BYRON R. HESS was a US Navy Armed Guard assigned to the American steam passenger ship Coamo. On Dec 1, 1942, Coamo was part of Convoy MKF-3 and was enroute from Gibraltar to New York. As they approached the coast of Ireland, Coamo and another ship, Mariposa, were ordered to leave convoy and continue to New York via a different route. On the 2nd, German submarine U-604 sighted Coamo and followed her for 10 hours before firing a single torpedo from a distance of about 800 meters. Coamo was hit under the bridge and immediately began to sink. The U-604 log entry describes Coamo in detail, and indicates that there were at least 3 life raft crews. They were never seen again. A gale raked the area between Dec 3rd and the 6th, making survival in the North Atlantic virtually impossible.
There were 186 people on Coamo: 133 Merchant Mariners, 37 US Navy Armed Guards, and 16 British Army passengers. None survived. Of the many US Flag merchant ships that were torpedoed and sunk, this was the largest merchant crew to be lost during World War II.

Byron R. Hess' name is included in the Tablets of the Missing on the Memorial Wall, Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
NOTE: This Memorial lists Dec 11 1943 as the date of Mr. Hess' death. Since the ship was "lost," this was the date used to officially declare him dead.

bio by Patricia O'Neal

Family links: 
  Thayne Edwin Hess (1896 - 1957)
Note: Thanks to "Cathie S" for additional information

Note: BODY LOST AT SEA. Mr. Hess was on Coamo when the ship was torpedoed and sunk by U-604
Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial
South Cambridgeshire District
Cambridgeshire, England
Plot: Tablets of the Missing. (Body lost at sea)
Maintained by: Laura Plummer Ranville
Originally Created by: CWGC/ABMC
Record added: Aug 06, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 56290659
GM3C Byron Robert Hess
Added by: Richard Mullally
GM3C Byron Robert Hess
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Skip Farrow
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

Service No: 6220751 / Significant Awards: Purple Heart, Navy Good Conduct Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
- Patricia O'Neal
 Added: Nov. 30, 2015
Rest peacefully, you're with family now.
- Patricia O'Neal
 Added: Apr. 7, 2014
"Their graves are marked only by the waves of the ocean. We miss them, we respect them and we shall never forget them"
- Patricia O'Neal
 Added: May. 24, 2013
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